Daniel 5

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1 Konung Belsassar gjorde ett stort gästabud för sina tusen stormän och höll dryckeslag med de tusen.

2 Medan nu Belsassar var under vinets välde, befallde han att man skulle bära fram de kärl av guld och silver, som hans fader Nebukadnessar hade tagit ur templet i Jerusalem; ur dem skulle så konungen och hans stormän, hans gemåler och bihustrur dricka.

3 Då bar man fram de gyllene kärl som hade blivit tagna ur tempelsalen i Guds hus i Jerusalem; och konungen och hans stormän, hans gemåler och bihustrur drucko ur dem.

4 Medan de så drucko vin, prisade de sina gudar av guld och silver, av koppar, järn, trä och sten.

5 Då visade sig i samma stund fingrar såsom av en människohand, vilka mitt emot den stora ljusstaken skrevo på den vitmenade väggen i konungens palats; och konungen såg handen som skrev.

6 Då vek färgen bort ifrån konungens ansikte, och han uppfylldes av oroliga tankar, så att hans länder skälvde och hans knän slogo emot varandra.

7 Och konungen ropade med hög röst och befallde att man skulle hämta besvärjarna, kaldéerna ock stjärntydarna. Och konungen lät säga så till de vise i Babel: »Vemhelst som kan läsa denna skrift och meddela mig dess uttydning, han skall bliva klädd i purpur, och den gyllene kedjan skall hängas om hans hals, och han skall bliva den tredje herren i riket.»

8 Då kommo alla konungens vise tillstädes, men de kunde icke läsa skriften eller säga konungen dess uttydning.

9 Då blev konung Belsassar ännu mer förskräckt, och färgen vek bort ifrån hans ansikte, och hans stormän stodo bestörta.

10 Men när konungens och hans stormäns tal kom för konungamodern, begav hon sig till gästabudssalen; där tog hon till orda och sade: »Må du leva evinnerligen, o konung! Låt icke oroliga tankar uppfylla dig, och må färgen icke vika bort ifrån ditt ansikte.

11 I ditt rike finnes en man i vilken heliga gudars ande är. I din faders dagar befanns han hava insikt och förstånd och vishet, lik gudars vishet; och din fader, konung Nebukadnessar, satte honom till den överste bland spåmännen, besvärjarna, kaldéerna och stjärntydarna; ja, detta gjorde din fader konungen,

12 eftersom en övermåttan hög ande och klokhet och förstånd och skicklighet att uttyda drömmar och lösa gåtor och reda ut invecklade ting fanns hos denne Daniel, åt vilken konungen hade givit namnet Beltesassar. Låt därför nu tillkalla Daniel; han skall meddela uttydningen.»

13 När så Daniel hade blivit hämtad till konungen, talade denne till Daniel och sade: »Du är ju Daniel, en av de judiska fångar som min fader konungen förde hit från Juda?

14 Jag har hört sägas om dig att gudars ande är i dig, och att du har befunnits hava insikt och förstånd och övermåttan stor vishet.

15 Nu är det så, att de vise och besvärjarna hava blivit hämtade hit till mig för att läsa denna skrift och säga mig dess uttydning; men de kunna icke meddela mig någon uttydning därpå.

16 Men om dig har jag hört att du kan giva uttydningar och reda ut invecklade ting. Om du alltså nu kan läsa skriften och säga mig dess uttydning, så skall du bliva klädd i purpur, och den gyllene kedjan skall hängas om din hals, och du skall bliva den tredje herren i riket.»

17 Då svarade Daniel och sade till konungen: »Dina gåvor må du själv behålla, och dina skänker må du giva åt en annan; dem förutan skall jag läsa skriften för konungen och säga honom uttydningen:

18 Åt din fader Nebukadnessar, o konung, gav den högste Guden rike, storhet, ära och härlighet;

19 och för den storhets skull som han hade givit honom darrade alla folk och stammar och tungomål, i förskräckelse för honom. Vem han ville dödade han, och vem han ville lät han leva; vem han ville upphöjde han, och vem han ville ödmjukade han.

20 Men när hans hjärta förhävde sig och hans ande blev stolt och övermodig, då störtades han från sin konungatron, och hans ära togs ifrån honom.

21 Han blev utstött från människors barn, och hans hjärta blev likt ett djurs, och han måste bo ibland vildåsnor och äta gräs såsom en oxe, och av himmelens dagg vättes hans kropp -- detta till dess han besinnade att den högste Guden råder över människors riken och upphöjer vem han vill till att härska över dem.

22 Men du, Belsassar, hans son, som har vetat allt detta, har ändå icke ödmjukat ditt hjärta,

23 utan förhävt dig mot himmelens Herre och låtit bära fram inför dig kärlen från hans hus; och du och dina stormän, dina gemåler och bihustrur haven druckit vin ur dem och du har därunder prisat dina gudar av silver och guld, av koppar, järn, trä och sten, som varken se eller höra eller veta något. Men den Gud som har i sitt våld din ande och alla dina vägar, honom har du icke ärat.

24 Därför har nu av honom denna hand blivit sänd och denna skrift blivit tecknad.

25 Och så lyder den skrift som här är tecknad: Mene mene tekel u-farsin.

26 Och detta är uttydningen därpå: Mene, det betyder: Gud har räknat ditt rikes dagar och gjort ände på det

27 Tekel, det betyder: du är vägd på en våg och befunnen för lätt.

28 Peres, det betyder: ditt rike har blivit styckat och givet åt meder och perser.»

29 Då befallde Belsassar att man skulle kläda Daniel i purpur, och att den gyllene kedjan skulle hängas om hans hals, och att man skulle utropa om honom att han skulle vara den tredje herren i riket.

30 Samma natt blev Belsassar, kaldéernas konung, dödad.

31 Och Darejaves av Medien mottog riket, när han var sextiotvå år gammal.

  

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The Feast of Belshazzar      

Napsal(a) Rev. Dr. Andrew M. T. Dibb

Belshazzar's Feast, by Rembrandt, showing the handwriting on the wall

This chapter begins with Belshazzar's feast for his friends. Belshazzar is presented in this chapter as the son of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. His name tells us something about him, for Belshazzar in the original Chaldean language means 'Bel Protect the King.' 'Bel' was a Babylonian god, so this name is about the relationship of the kingly, or ruling loves in a person, and the love of selfishness and dominion from that described by the god of the Babylonians.

Belshazzar has a similar spiritual relationship to Nebuchadnezzar as the Lord Jesus Christ had to the Father. In the case of the Lord, His human set forth the Divine, making it present for all people to see. In the case of Belshazzar, he set forth the love of selfishness, Nebuchadnezzar, for all the world to see. Belshazzar represents the external manifestation of the deepest feelings of selfishness, translated first into thoughts, then actions.

The story of Daniel is about the power of truth changing us from being self-centered to being regenerated. Each person has a Nebuchadnezzar side, and also a Daniel side. In previous chapters, we see Daniel's impact on Nebuchadnezzar. So truth impacts our lives. When we begin the process of change, we follow the order given in chapters two, three, four, and five. Truth is first an intellectual idea which, in time, affects our will. To change, we must be willing to undergo the temptations described in chapter four, but for this to happen, we need to judge our behavior. This is the feast, where actions are judged and those incompatible with conscience are cast out.

Belshazzar commanded the vessels brought so that the guests could drink from them. To drink wine from them means drawing teachings from the Word that one needs to live properly (Apocalypse Explained 376). Before our minds are clear of selfishness, we may go to the Word for guidance. But we are not looking to be lead to the good of life, but to support the selfishness within. This is not unusual with people first introduced to the truths of the Word: as they learn, they may find that the teachings seem to support some of their attitudes, rather than undermine faults. We can see this in Belshazzar's use of the vessels: he did not treat them with respect, but profaned them. Sharing the vessels with his lords, his wives, and concubines shows the various thoughts and affections still tied to selfishness which guided him.

As the king and his guests drank from the holy vessels, they showed their true allegiance: they worshiped gods of gold, silver, brass, iron, wood, and stone, compounding their profanation. Profanation is when the sacred and profane are brought together. One cannot believe the Word is holy, and mock it at the same time. No one can serve two masters (Matthew 6:24).

For a complete explanation of the different materials of the profane idols, see the explanation of the statue from Nebuchadnezzar's dream in Daniel 2. The differences between the two rests in materials of the legs and feet, but in the internal sense, these differences disappear.

Amid this debauchery, a vision took place: the fingers of a man's hand appeared on the wall and wrote words in an unknown language. Belshazzar's fear reflects our own when it suddenly dawns on us that the activities of our life are in conflict with the very things we hold to be true. The conflict between good and evil within us is brought down to the level of our daily lives. The effect can be frightening: it is the realization of our shortcomings. Yet often, before the issues become clear, we feel a sense of unease, a feeling of dissatisfaction at the way our lives are going.

This vague feeling is Belshazzar's inability to read the words written upon the wall. They frightened him, but he did not know what they meant. Like us, he turned to the familiar, comforting voices which usually explained the unknown to him: the astrologers, the soothsayers, and the Chaldeans. These 'wise men' represent the thought patterns we have when our lives are disturbed: we look inwards to our usual justifications. Thus we blame others for our state of mind, or credit it to misfortune, without ever really going to the source of what is bothering us.

Belshazzar promised his soothsayers three distinct things:

"Whoever reads this writing, and tells me its interpretation, shall be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold around his neck; and he shall be the third ruler in the kingdom."

The angels of the celestial heaven wear crimson clothes (Divine Love and Wisdom 380, True Christian Religion 686) as an expression of their love to the Lord. Clothing signifies knowledge (Heaven and Hell 179, Arcana Coelestia 1073, 2576, 5319, 9212, 9216, 9952, 10536) so 'clothing of purple' represents knowledges about love to the Lord. But because Belshazzar is selfishness, the knowledge he offered represents re-establishing selfish love as the ruling principle in our minds. In addition to the purple garments, he offered chains of gold. As we have seen before, gold represents goodness from the Lord. But in this case, the 'goodness' originates in selfishness. The final promise is power. The characteristic of the love of self is the lust for power. Nebuchadnezzar extended his natural kingdom across the earth, as selfishness extends its power throughout our lives.

Unsurprisingly, the 'wise men' could not read the writing on the wall. When we are unhappy because of our selfishness, no thoughts from selfishness will set us straight. If we know that what we are doing is wrong, and yet make excuses for our behavior, we will find little or no comfort in these justifications—they are a part of the problem.

So the queen suggested to Belshazzar that he call Daniel. To convince him of Daniel's worth, she uses terms that describe the quality of a conscience formed from the truths of the Word. 'The Spirit of the Holy God' is the truth from the Lord (Apocalypse Explained 183), where conscience is formed. Divine truth in the mind brings spiritual light (True Christian Religion 40) giving first understanding, and then wisdom. Conscience draws its being from the Divine truths from the Lord. The Babylonian 'wise men' all represent the various thoughts of a selfish mind. As the conscience is formed, it begins to take precedence over these thoughts, until it rules. So a person regenerating intellectually thinks from truth, but may still act from selfishness.

The queen's pleas made an impact on Belshazzar, and Daniel was brought before him. The king offered Daniel the same gifts he offered his wise men and astrologers. Daniel, of course, could not accept these, in much the same way, years before, he had been unable to accept food from Nebuchadnezzar's table. To accept the garments of purple, chains of gold, and a position of power in the kingdom was meaningless to Daniel. He was already, after all, in a position of power. Conscience does not need to be bribed: it stands firm and alone in our minds.

Daniel began his interpretation of the Writing on the Wall with a brief history of Nebuchadnezzar, as a summary of the progression of selfishness. He began with the fact that Nebuchadnezzar received his kingdom of from God. In chapter 1, we are told that 'the Lord gave Jehoiakim into his hand.' This implies that not only was the Lord responsible for the siege of Jerusalem, but for all of Nebuchadnezzar's other victories. This verse reinforces that concept: Nebuchadnezzar's success was because of the Lord.

Daniel voiced the words of judgment eloquently: Belshazzar had not humbled his heart, he had lifted himself up against the Lord of heaven. He used the vessels of the Lord's temple to worship gods of silver and gold, bronze and iron, wood and stone, yet he does not know that the Lord holds his life in His hand.

These well-spoken words of judgment are as much an indictment on us as they were on Belshazzar. Often we know the truths of the Word, we wrestle with them in our minds, we allow them to direct our feelings, and yet we do nothing about them. Spiritual procrastination is one of life's greatest dangers. As long as we put off spiritual progress, and wallow in the comfort of selfishness, as long as we hang onto old prejudices and attitudes, and habitual thinking, we are using the Lord's Word as a way of worshiping false idols. What needs to change in us are our loves, our attitudes. As these change, our external behavior must be brought into alignment with them.

Having chastised Belshazzar, Daniel began to explain the writing on the wall. He began by stressing that the fingers that wrote 'were sent by Him,' meaning the 'Most High God' who gave Nebuchadnezzar his kingdom, majesty and glory. While Nebuchadnezzar had humbled himself before the Lord, Belshazzar had not. In the historical sense, it was important for Daniel to stress the relationship between what happened to Nebuchadnezzar and what would happen to Belshazzar.

The judgment, from the power of the Lord, lay in the words written on the wall: 'mene, mene, tekel, upharsin.' Four words in an unknown language that could only be interpreted by Daniel. Thus we see how our conscience, drawn as it is from the teachings of the Word, is the root of our resistance to evil.

Daniel begins by explaining 'mene' saying: 'God has numbered your kingdom and found it wanting.' To number means to know the quality of something. This is why Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem 'in the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim,' and dreamed of the great statue 'in the second year' of his own reign.

The word 'mene' means the process of self-examination. There is no indication why the word is repeated twice; perhaps it indicates the need for an examination of acts flowing from both our will and our understanding—our actions from an inner love for them, and actions from a sense of duty.

The third word on the wall is 'Tekel,' which Daniel told Belshazzar means: 'You have been weighed in the balances and found wanting.' When we examine ourselves, it is from truth: we judge how we compare to the truth. The next step is to assess our feelings. Thus 'one should be found wanting.'

Daniel interprets the final word of the four to mean 'your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and Persians.' This literally happened to Belshazzar, but in the internal sense, to divide means to disperse and expel (Apocalypse Explained 373, Arcana Coelestia 9093). This is the third stage of repentance: when a person has examined self, found one's self wanting, and is willing to change, the next step is to separate the evil from ourselves, and to expel it from our lives. It is only in this way that we can be cleansed of evil.

This is an indication of how our lives should progress: no man can serve two masters, the Lord said, we cannot serve God and mammon. We cannot serve self and be ruled by the conscience at the same time. One must increase and the other decrease. By giving Daniel these gifts in the face of the imminent end of his kingdom, Belshazzar shows us how the conscience must increase, while selfishness as the root of our evil must decrease.

Thus it happened that on that very night, Belshazzar, king of the Chaldeans, was slain, and Darius the Mede received the throne, being about sixty-two years old.

Swedenborg

Hlavní výklad ze Swedenborgových prací:

Arcana Caelestia 1326

Apocalypse Explained 587, 1029

Apocalypse Revealed 717

The Last Judgement 54

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 176

Scriptural Confirmations 4, 37


Další odkazy Swedenborga k této kapitole:

Arcana Caelestia 1183, 3079, 3104, 5223, 8932, 9093, 9818, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 313, 316, 364, 459, 913

Divine Love and Wisdom 383

Doctrine of the Lord 48

Om Himlen och dess underbara ting och om Helvetet 365

True Christian Religion 156, 754


Odkazy ze Swedenborgových nevydaných prací:

Apocalypse Explained 183, 220, 242, 373, 376, 453

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Skočit na podobné biblické verše

1 Mosebok 41:15, 42

1 Samuelsboken 17:26, 36

2 Konungaboken 5:16, 24:13, 25:15, 28

2 Krönikeboken 32:25, 33:23, 36:23

Esra 5:14

Ester 1:3, 10:3

Jobb 12:10

Psaltaren 115:4

Ordspråksboken 21:2

Predikaren 8:3

Jesaja 13:17, 21:5, 37:23, 47:11

Jeremia 10:23, 25:12, 50:28, 43, 51:28, 31, 39

Hesekiel 28:3, 4, 31:10

Daniel 1:2, 6, 7, 17, 2:2, 4, 6, 25, 27, 32, 37, 39, 48, 4:4, 5, 6, 14, 19, 22, 26, 28, 5:7, 16, 6:4, 8:11, 20

Nahum 1:14

Apostlagärningarna 12:23, 17:25

Romarbrevet 1:21

Uppenbarelseboken 9:20

Významy biblických slov

gästabud
There are two kinds of feasts mentioned in the Bible. Some were held to commemorate specific, one-time events, such as the feast Abraham held to...

Nebukadnessar
Nebuchadnezzar was a powerful king of the Babylonian empire. His fiery furnace and his dreams of the great tree and of the great statue are...

Jerusalem
Jerusalem, on Mount Zion, signifies the doctrine of love to the Lord, and how it governs your life. Jerusalem first comes to our attention in...

ljusstaken
(Luke 15:8.) By the woman lighting a candle to find the piece of silver she had lost, is signified inquisition in herself from affection.

slogo
To strike or smite, when used in the Bible, means to attack, harm or destroy, and is usually in reference to an attack on someone’s...

säga
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

Daniel
The book of Daniel follows after Ezekiel in the Old Testament. Daniel was a prophet during the early part of the captivity of the Jews...

Beltesassar
The book of Daniel follows after Ezekiel in the Old Testament. Daniel was a prophet during the early part of the captivity of the Jews...

talade
Like "say," the word "speak" refers to thoughts and feelings moving from our more internal spiritual levels to our more external ones – and ultimately...

hört
Thanks to modern science, we now understand that hearing actually happens in the brain, not the ears. The ears collect vibrations in the air and...

höra
Thanks to modern science, we now understand that hearing actually happens in the brain, not the ears. The ears collect vibrations in the air and...

vägar
These days we tend to think of "roads" as smooth swaths of pavement, and judge them by how fast we can drive cars on them....

kaldéernas
Chaldea was a land lying along the Euphrates river near its mouth, south of Babylon, part of what is now southern Iraq. It was a...

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 Belshazzar's Feast
A New Church Bible story explanation for teaching Sunday school. Includes lesson materials for Primary (3-8 years), Junior (9-11 years), Intermediate (12-14 years), Senior (15-17 years) and Adults.
Teaching Support | Ages over 3

 Belshazzar’s Feast
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Belshazzar’s Feast (3-5 years)
Project | Ages 4 - 6

 Belshazzar’s Feast (6-8 years)
Project | Ages 7 - 10

 Belshazzar’s Feast (9-11 years)
Project | Ages 11 - 14

 Overview of Daniel: A Man of Conscience for ages 3-14
Overview of a series of scripted lessons for the first six chapters of the book of Daniel. Suitable for Sunday schools, families and classrooms. Levels A, B and C provide materials for ages 3-14.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 3 - 14


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